Our spring prawn pasta delivers the comfort of a pasta dish without weighing you down. This recipe is fresh, tasty, easy enough to throw together on a weeknight and fancy enough for a dinner party. You’ll love the combination of sweet, ripe cherry tomatoes, fresh herbs and seared prawns with just a hint of heat from the chilli.
The Flavours of Spring
This week, we had a taste of summer in Melbourne. The thermometer crept over 20°c for the first time in months, and the sun brought much-needed relief from a long, dreary winter. Our herb planters are spilling over with bright green herbs. Some of them are even flowering!
We were both craving comfort food, but we didn’t want anything too heavy. Dean bought some raw, shelled prawns from the market on his way home from work. He also brought a medley of colourful cherry tomatoes that tasted like tomatoes should – not like those sub-standard winter tomatoes. This whole dish took less than thirty minutes to pull together and it tasted like something you’d pay for in a restaurant.
Spring Prawn Pasta Your Way
We used prawns for this recipe, but you could substitute some of the weight of the prawns for scallops, calamari, white fish, or salmon. If you want to include mussels, add them at step 6.
You could use tinned chopped tomatoes instead of passata if that’s what you have in the pantry. Herbs can be fresh or dried. If you’re using dry herbs, reduce the volume by one third – so use one teaspoon instead of a tablespoon. The chilli can be fresh if you prefer, or omitted altogether if you’re sensitive to chilli.
Serve it With …
The buttery flavour of the prawns pairs beautifully with a chilled chardonnay.
Because the recipe is lighter than most pasta dishes, you can serve it with a creamy dessert. If you’re making it for a dinner party, try our vanilla bean panna cotta with berry coulis.
Spring Prawn Spaghetti
- 250 g dried pasta spaghetti or linguine
- 200 g cherry tomatoes
- 2 TBS olive oil
- ½ brown onion finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 TBS fresh oregano finely chopped
- 1 TBS fresh basil finely chopped
- 1 pinch dried chilli flakes
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup tomato passata
- 400 g peeled raw prawns
- ½ lemon
- ¼ cup parsley chopped
- grated Parmesan optional
- Bring a large pot of well-salted water to the boil. This is for your pasta, which you'll add in a few minutes.
- Prick cherry tomatoes all over. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to the pan over a medium-high heat and toss in tomatoes. Stir or shake pan occasionally. You want the tomatoes to caramelise and blister.
- Add pasta to boiling water and stir to ensure pasta doesn't stick together. Leave it boiling on high while you get back to your sauce.
- When tomato skins start to brown, add onion, garlic ,oregano, basil and chilli to pan and stir over a medium heat until onion is translucent.
- Pour in white wine and stir, scraping the bottom of the pan to deglaze. When wine has reduced by half, mix in passata.
- When sauce begins to thicken, push it to one side of the pan. Add the remaining olive oil to the other side of the pan and cook prawns. When prawns are nicely browned on one side (this will only take a couple of minutes) turn them over and cook the other side. When browned on both sides, stir them into the tomato sauce.
- Drain pasta and toss it through the sauce. Top with fresh parsley and a squeeze of lemon and serve immediately with the parmesan as an option.